There is the analogy that your life is a bucket. That you are meant to use your bucket, full of water, to fill the buckets of other people. Yet, our bucket is quickly empty. Life happens. We get holes in our buckets. Work, stress, family all drain our buckets. Just because you work with students, whether as a volunteer or professionally, doesn’t mean you don’t need to get your bucket filled. Your spiritual health is important too. We can be so busy serving and helping others we forget to take care of ourselves. We catch some bumps and bruises in fulfilling the mission of Jesus and our joy is robbed. Here are some places to re-fill you bucket.
I have found myself struggling some days to simply get into my bible. I justify this by saying “I’m a pastor” or saying that I read the bible everyday planning for different curriculum. I don’t do it to grow though. I need to be continually pursuing my relationship with Jesus. Just because people may view me as a “professional Christian” doesn’t mean I am above these basic truths. Fight for your time with Jesus. Make that a priority. Start a prayer journal. Write down why you are grateful to God that day somewhere. Give thanks to Him. Where is He growing you and challenging you. I can be terrible at taking my own advice. I tell students to do all these things on a daily basis yet in my own life I can struggle.
I’ve made reading the Bible, not just books about Jesus, a priority. I have a little green journal with people I need to be praying for. I use my drive time to connect with God through a podcast or simply worship. I need to re-ignite my hunger for Jesus. The best place to refill your bucket is from the Well.
Some of my friends from college came into town the other day. These men were pivotal in my life and the growth of my faith. I was sad when I left and told my girlfriend that I miss them; I miss growing, talking and being challenged in my faith by those guys. I’m on a mission now to find more people like that in my life right now. To talk about the deep things of God with people and wrestle with life.
I heard once our discipleship model should like a few men around us, someone to pour into us and someone for us to pour into. A reflection of Jesus and His three and then the relationship between Paul and Timothy. Keep growing with friends around you. Challenge them, encourage them, and let them grow you too.
Sometimes I need professional help. We have stigma in our culture now that shuns people for going to see a counselor. I think part of that stigma is that in going you admit that you need help. I do. There are something’s I can talk about with co-workers, or even with my girlfriend. My counselor helps me to vent and navigate tense situations. It is a safe place to navigate my personal struggles. I highly recommend seeing a Christian counselor for people who are in professional ministry.
Selah is a musical term in the Psalms. Most people interpret it as a pause to reflect on what we have heard and worship God. Are you taking time to enjoy the things God has created? To actually pause and rest, not just be doing “light work.” To take delight in God and the things around you. Something that has helped me in this is simply taking note of the things in the day that I am grateful for. It puts the world and God perspective.
When you feel like you’re running on empty, what do you do to recharge? Are you connecting back to God? Looking for friends to go through life with? We are not meant to have a shallow life. We are meant to have abundant life. We are meant to thrive, not just survive.